Pick an area that you are interested in, and learn everything you can about it. Become an expert in that thing. Go deep in that area, and truly understand it. Then do the same thing in other areas. I work with a young guy, and he knows a little about a lot of things. He doesn't do any of them well. We end up having to go behind him and clean things up. My team tries to get him to focus on one area of technology at a time so he can do that one well. Once he is competent, move to the next and then the next.
In IT, there are some things that are basic knowledge, like being proficient in Linux and Windows. There are a ton of free python classes that will help you build some scripting/programming skills. Since you said you like tinkering with computers, play around with turning up VMs in VM Player or Virtualbox. If you have access to an old server or a beefy pc, you can get a temporary free license from VMWare to turn up an ESXi host. Also Linux offers a free VM host called KVM.
Rich recommends the following next steps:
- Be proficient in using and administering Windows and Linux operating Systems.
- If programming and scripting interest you, take some programming classes. Python is extremely popular now, and there are lots of free courses.
- Play around with virtual machines if you have not done so already. If you don't have a beefy computer, you can load VM Player or Oracle's Virtualbox for free, and turn up some VMs. If you have an old server or a beefy pc, you can get a temporary free license from VMWare to turn up an ESXi host. Also Linux offers a free VM host called KVM.
- Pick an area you are interested in and go deep to become as much of an expert as you can. Once you are proficient, choose another area to learn.